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Breaking News: Duck Pond capacity reduced starting in 2010

Madison, WI – March 11, 2010. A proposal from the Madison Mallards to reduce capacity at the Duck Pond at Warner Park was accepted at tonight’s Board of Park Commissioners meeting.  Starting in 2010 stadium capacity will be limited to 6,750, a 10% reduction from the current capacity of 7,500 that has been in place since August 2004.  The decision to reduce capacity is based on the following factors:

•    Improving Fan experience – There are currently less than 6,000 fixed seats in the stadium, which means that during sold out games over 1,600 fans are relegated to “standing room only” areas that are spread throughout the ballpark.  The capacity reduction will not change available fixed seating, but will reduce standing room only in the stadium to approximately 950. Furthermore, the capacity reduction will also improve lines at concessions stands, restrooms, etc. and ease access to other stadium facilities.
•    Parking availability and neighborhood impact – Over the past several years during games with capacity crowds there has been a shortage of easily accessible parking for fans. This reduction will put the capacity more in line with accessible parking for fans.  Fans will continue to have access to a limited amount of overflow parking at the Northside TownCenter across Sherman Avenue from the ballpark.  Finally, when the Mallards draw capacity crowds there is a substantial increase in traffic in the area surrounding the ballpark and the reduction will result in a safer, less congested environment for both fans and neighbors.

“We are excited that our proposal to reduce capacity was approved,” Mallards President Vern Stenman said. “This adjustment will improve the fan experience at the Duck Pond in addition to reducing the impact of Mallards games on the surrounding community.”

Following the City of Madison Park Commission meeting on Wednesday night, Parks Superintendent Kevin Briski said, “We feel the Mallards proposal will have a positive impact on Warner Park and the surrounding community and we are pleased with the result of our ongoing conversations on this topic.”

Points of interest regarding Mallards attendance:
•    On June 12, 2004 the Mallards set a city of Madison and summer collegiate baseball record with a crowd of 10,061 fans.  This crowd sparked discussion about the capacity of the Duck Pond at Warner Park.  Initially capacity was limited to 5,000 fans. However, by August 2004 the Mallards made adjustments to the ballpark to allow capacity to increase to 7,500.
•    Since 2004 the Mallards have drawn 54 crowds of 6,750 or more.
•    In 2009 the Mallards had 8 crowds of 6,750 or more.
•    In 2009 the Mallards averaged 6,005 fans per game, which marked the 4th consecutive year the team drew over 6,000 fans a night.
•    The team has led all of summer collegiate baseball in attendance every year since 2003.